What is magic realism

(essay)

Now the term “magical realism” implies a direction in literature, characterized by the inseparability of an ordinary gray reality and inexplicable magical phenomena, skillfully inscribed in this reality. It is noteworthy that the characters of literary works related to this direction are not at all amazed by magical events. Here miracles become part of everyday life, but they stay miracles.
The origins of magical realism are found in the culture of ancient Indian civilizations (Maya, Aztecs, Incas, Chibcha).

This is how magical phenomena in the everyday world are described in the works of the Indians themselves and the states that have formed their colonies in South America. For example, the Spanish historian and priest of the sixteenth century Pedro Simon is considered the compiler of the myth of El Dorado, and he was an author of a huge work on the history of the Chibcha civilization.

Already in the thirties of the last century, the French critic Edmond Zhalu suggests calling the direction in literature “magic realism”. Among the masters who influenced the further development of literature like that were titans of Latin American literature as Julio Cortazar, Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel García Márquez and Alejo Carpentier. Alejo Carpentier in 1949 writes the story ” The Kingdom of This World “, in the preface to which he describes his work as “lo real maravilloso”, which can be translated as “magic realism” or “magic reality”.

Perhaps the most popular work written using this artistic technique is “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez. Once this book was the most popular Spanish-language work, not counting the Bible.

Also, the characteristic features of the direction include: use of a huge number of symbols, an open end, forcing the reader to think, what was reality, distortion of the passage of time and an extremely noticeable contrast between the past and the present.

Latin American authors made a significant impact on European literature. The use of “magic” reality can be found in the novels of the Serbian writer Milorad Pavic. Among Russian authors, perhaps the most famous is Mykola Vasyliovych Gogol.

Magical realism was often used by artists and filmmakers. Such as Frida Kahlo and Rene Magritte. Bright examples in cinema world are Frank Darabont’s “Green Mile” or “Pan’s Labyrinth” by Guillermo del Toro’s.

And if the characters of “magical realism” could describe their world in one sentence, these would be the words of the heroine of the novel of the genius of this direction ‒ Julio Cortazara: “About my life, – said Maga, – you can’t even tell about drunkenness.”

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